Coelho, Paulo (1947–)

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Coelho, Paulo (1947–)

Born into a middle-class Rio de Janeiro family, the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has become a worldwide cultural and marketing phenomenon. Before selling 65 million copies of his books—translated into fifty-eight languages in more than 150 countries—in less than two decades, Coelho led a turbulent and adventurous young life. He was three times a patient at a mental institution, a heavy drug addict, a practitioner of black magic, an anarchist community leader, and a political prisoner. He also became, in his twenties, a shrewd and successful pop music lyricist in partnership with the iconoclastic Raul Seixas, Brazil's legendary rock star. At the age of thirty and relatively wealthy, Coelho had studied various religions and converted to Catholicism while traveling around the world. He soon started his bestselling, award-winning literary career. Whether his books (from The Pilgrimage, 1987, to Eleven Minutes, 2003) belong in the categories of self-help and esoterica, as many critics say (some of them with explicit disdain), or of literature and philosophy, as scores of award referees and the author himself claim, all of them speak of mysticism, mystery, magic, self-reliance, and personal redemption through spiritual faith.

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


Arias, Juan. Paulo Coelho: Confessions of a Pilgrim. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.

Maestri, Mário. Por que Paulo Coelho teve sucesso. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Age, 1999.

Pons, Pedro. Paulo Coelho: su obra, pensamiento, filosofia y enseňanza. Geroma, Spain: Tikal, 1999.

                                          DÁrio Borim

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Coelho, Paulo (1947–)

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